1 year ago

Andrews: Trump or Clinton will be President. Here’s how to decide who to vote for.

Clinton, Trump pick up big wins

My name is Andy Andrews. I am a husband and a father. I have written several books, a couple of which have been moderately successful. In a national discussion of celebrity, money, or power, however, I would not be mentioned.

My family and friends love me though, and in Alabama, where I was born, I like to believe there are those who are happy that I still live here. As for my books, they seem to defy conventional literary description and are most often characterized as “stories of common sense.” That’s fine with me. In fact, it’s exactly what I was after all along.

Through the years, for whatever reason, I decided to make “common sense” my personal quest. The most important part of that quest, I determined, would be to somehow develop the ability to harness common sense for the benefit of other people. Specifically, I prayed to learn how to take complicated subjects that were confusing people and explain to them the “bottom line truth” in a simple, understandable fashion. I wanted to be able to do this in order that they might utilize that understanding in ways that would make their lives better—that would prosper them and their families.

That brings me to today, the looming 2016 presidential election, and perhaps the most critically important issue I have ever attempted to explain:

Why You Must Vote

(even if you must hold your nose while doing so. And…)
Why There Are Only Two Candidates from Which to Choose

First, allow me to say that I am not an admirer of either candidate. I never have been. My wife and I have two teenaged sons and, like you, we are aware that manners and good behavior are a reflection of character. That said, it is ironic that many of us now find ourselves in the position of choosing a president of the United States whose conduct we would not tolerate in our own family.

But choose we must, for this is the first election in our lifetimes that has virtually nothing to do with the “personality” who will serve as our president. This election is about the Supreme Court.

This time, forget everything else. Forget crimes that may have been committed. Forget any alleged sexual assault. Forget the possibility of treasonous acts, adultery, fraud, vindictiveness, and mean or childish behavior. Think only of the Supreme Court. For the first time in your life, you really are about to determine what this country will be like for the rest of your life. This is true, also, for the lives of your children and your children’s children.

As a people, we have not had a choice before us with more power to heal or destroy since the civil war. The United States of America is clearly about to move down one of two roads. No rhetoric can disguise either path. And once the Supreme Court is in place, no Congress or Senate can change that path.

This coming Tuesday, November 8, 2016, you and I will choose which of two people will become president. Soon after being inaugurated, that person will begin the process of selecting the person who will fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court—the one who will tip the scales one way or the other. Laws will be upheld or overturned. New laws will be imposed or not. In either case, the way you are allowed to live will soon be determined by the Supreme Court. The court’s majority will be determined by the new president. But one thing is certain: after Tuesday, you will have no more say in the matter.

Lest you think this might be a temporary situation, able to be shifted or redone by the next president, it is critical to understand that whichever of the two major candidates we elect this Tuesday will be the person who will set the Supreme Court in stone for generations. The person we elect this Tuesday will not be making one Supreme Court appointment, but perhaps as many as four!

Considering possible retirements and death, look at the court’s current makeup: The vacant seat is that of Justice Scalia who recently died at the age of 79. Of the eight justices that remain, five—Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Sotomayor, and Kagan—are under the age of 70. The rest are far older. Justice Breyer is 78, Justice Kennedy is 80, and Justice Ginsburg is 83 and has been treated for pancreatic cancer.

Supreme Court appointments are for life. This means that the justices serve until they resign, retire, or die. Therefore, a president able to appoint even one member of the court is able to determine the direction of the country. Especially in the situation that exists at present…

The court has voted 5-4 on crucial decisions for years. The swing vote (Scalia) died. The person we elect as president this Tuesday will appoint Scalia’s replacement—the new swing vote.

Pay Close Attention: During the next four years of the president’s term, he or she will likely appoint a second Supreme Court justice. The votes on crucial decisions will then be decided by a vote of 6-3. The opportunity to appoint a third and even a fourth justice to the court will allow whomever we elect on Tuesday the ability to cement the Supreme Court’s voting—think 7-2 or imagine 8-1—for as long as you live.

So it all comes down to this:

First, be aware that there is no possibility of a third party winning this election. None. Therefore, a vote for a third party candidate is a wasted vote. “But I am voting my conscience,” you say. Fine. Just remember that it will be your body (not your conscience) and your children who will live in the world our Supreme Court is about to create. Forever.

Do you want a say in what that world will be like? I’m sorry, but there are only two choices. Him or her.

Yes, I understand. You are furious at being put in a position to have to choose between the “lesser of two evils.” I do understand. It is infuriating. On the other hand, you must understand that “the lesser of two evils” is the only choice you’ve ever had in any election in which you’ve ever voted in your life! Jesus has never run for office. That leaves only the rest of us—you and me—well-meaning, good-hearted people who, despite our best intentions, have still managed to lie, cheat, and say things out loud for which we remain grateful to this day that no one recorded during what we thought was a private conversation.

It is time to put away our self-righteousness. It is time to wake up and understand that we have no ability—zero—to make either candidate feel our contempt with our vote. Even if we did, they would not care! ONE OF THESE TWO PEOPLE WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT. Neither you nor I will change that fact by voting for someone else or by not voting at all.

The only way you can possibly vote this time and have it matter is to vote for the America in which you wish to live. That America will be defined by the Supreme Court justices chosen by one of the two major candidates.

For once in our lives, whatever “President” we have to watch on television for the next four years doesn’t matter. We have all suffered through four or eight years of one presidential face or another and, this time, we will do it again. That face will not matter. In the long run, that person’s name will not matter. ONLY THE JUSTICES THAT PERSON CHOOSES FOR THE SUPREME COURT MATTERS!

Remember that whoever the president of the United States is…whoever the president might ever be—despite the amount of television time they get, no matter the round office and forget the cool plane—that person’s actual power, his or her ability to truly affect your day-to- day life, is extremely limited. Congress, Senate, the will of the people, the approval of the media…all are very real factors that prey upon a president’s ability to do as he or she wishes.

The Supreme Court, on the other hand, is under no such constraints. Once appointed, there is virtually no oversight or even influence that can be brought to bear. The media? Polls? Voters? There is no quarterly review, no coming election. A Supreme Court justice is appointed for life. His or her word is, quite literally, the law. These are the big laws, the ones that determine your daily life.

And the only chance you have to shape those laws is by electing the person who chooses the members of the court. So hold your nose if you wish, there are only two choices…

Here’s how you decide who to vote for:

Both major candidates have announced exactly the kind of justices they will choose for the Supreme Court if elected. One candidate has even listed the names of the judges from which the choice will be made. Your choice will be plain to see and easy to make. Again, your choice is not about a person. In the most literal sense, your choice is about the America in which you wish to live.

Knowing there are many issues that will be determined by the Supreme Court, let’s quickly examine only a few. From here, you will easily understand the direction you wish to take.

Second Amendment

Do you believe that guns are inherently bad? Do you believe that there are too many guns, that gun manufacturers should be held responsible for what individuals do with them, and that the government needs to further restrict the public’s right to own and use guns? If so, you must vote for her. She has publicly promised to appoint judges that will make these beliefs the basis for laws by which we all will live for the rest of our lives.

Or do you believe strongly in the “right to bear arms”? Do you believe that further gun restrictions will only restrict the access honest citizens have to firearms and ammunition? Do you believe that a gun—while dangerous—is a tool like a car and that when used incorrectly, it is the fault of a person, not the fault of the tool? If so, you must vote for him. He has publicly promised to appoint judges that will make laws according to this line of thinking. At that point, we will live with those laws for the rest of our lives.

And this Second Amendment issue will be determined by the Supreme Court.


Do you believe that the fetus inside a pregnant woman is a tissue mass and that a woman should be able to rid her body of that tissue mass at any time during the nine months prior to that tissue mass being born? Do you believe that tissue mass only becomes a human being once it is outside the woman’s body? Do you believe that your tax dollars should be used to allow anyone who chooses, for whatever reason, to rid their body of that tissue mass?

Do you believe that counseling centers, funded by churches, set up for the purpose of encouraging adoption should be forced by law to offer abortion counseling as an alternative? If so, you must vote for her. She has publicly promised to appoint judges that will enforce these beliefs into laws by which you and I must live for the rest of our lives.

Or do you believe that the baby inside a mother is a human being? Do you believe that life has a purpose and that, from the moment of conception, each and every child is unique and valuable?

Do you believe that you should not be forced to fund Planned Parenthood—the largest abortion provider in America—with your tax dollars? Do you believe more than 50 million government-approved abortions in the United States since 1970 are enough? If so, you must vote for him. He has publicly promised to appoint judges that will reduce, restrict, and eventually do away with abortion on demand and what you believe will be made into laws by which you and I will live for the rest of our lives.

And this abortion issue will be determined by the Supreme Court.


Do you believe the United States should move toward a policy of “open borders”? Do you believe undocumented persons in the United States illegally should not only be allowed to stay, but issued driver’s licenses, food stamps, and provided medical care? Do you believe that if someone wishes to enter our country, they have every right to do so without explanation? If so, you must vote for her, for she has publicly promised to appoint judges that will reverse laws currently on the books regarding immigration. These laws will eventually lead to her stated “dream of open borders” and a new way of life for us all.

Or do you believe that America’s borders are her first line of defense? Do you believe that the word “illegal” means just that? Do you believe that only legally recognized citizens of America have a right to her benefits and protection as provided by your tax dollars? Do you believe America has not only the right, but the responsibility to carefully vet those who seek to enter our country? If so, you must vote for him, for he has publicly promised to appoint judges that will make and defend laws in line with those beliefs.

Regulatory Oversight

Do you believe the government is more capable of determining how your money should be used? Do you believe the government is better able to determine how your children should be educated? Do you believe the government should determine who can do business where and with whom? Do you believe a person should be given priority because of what they believe, what they are, or what they believe they are? If so, you must vote for her, for she has publicly promised to appoint judges who will open our borders, our bathrooms, and our wallets. She has promised laws to punish those who do not agree.

Or do you believe you can decide what’s best for your family? Do you believe that if you earn a certain amount of money you should be able to keep and reinvest the largest part of it to benefit those things you decide are important? Do you believe the government has been created to serve the people, not the other way around? If so, you must vote for him, for he has publicly promised to appoint judges whose rulings allow prosperity for those who work to deserve it.

These are but a few examples of the two pathways you will choose this Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Religious freedom, taxes and the economy, healthcare…in every category you examine, you’ll find drastic differences in the America that will be shaped by this election. Don’t be fooled—how you vote matters, because the Supreme Court matters.

So what kind of America will we have for the rest of our lives? This time, you actually get to choose.


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7 hours ago

Students: 1 million expected at anti-gun-violence marches

Students from the Florida high school where 17 people were fatally shot last month expect more than 1 million participants in upcoming marches in Washington and elsewhere calling for gun regulations, students said Monday.

More than 800 March for Our Lives demonstrations are planned around the world Saturday, sparked by the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida.

“It just shows that the youth are tired of being the generation where we’re locked in closets and waiting for police to come in case of a shooter,” Alex Wind, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, told The Associated Press.


“We’re sick and tired of having to live with this normalcy of turning on the news and watching a mass shooting,” he added.

Since the massacre, Stoneman Douglas students have been at the forefront of a push to tighten gun restrictions and protect schools.

They have led rallies and lobbied lawmakers in Washington and Florida’s capital, Tallahassee. Last Wednesday, tens of thousands of students around the U.S. walked out of their classrooms to demand action on gun violence and school safety. Stoneman Douglas students fanned out Monday to discuss the marches with media outlets in New York, including NBC’s “Today” show and “CBS This Morning.”

The National Rifle Association didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry Monday about the upcoming marches. The group has said any effort to prevent future school shootings needs to “keep guns out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves or others, while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans.”

Amid the wave of activism, Florida passed a law curbing young peoples’ access to rifles; the NRA has sued to try to block it. Some major U.S. retailers decided to curb the sale of assault-style rifles or stop selling firearms to people younger than 21.

But Congress has shown little appetite for new gun regulations. President Donald Trump at one point proposed raising the minimum age for buying an assault rifle to 21 but then backed off, citing a lack of political support.

The Republican president has since released a school safety plan that includes strengthening the federal background check system and helping states pay for firearms training for teachers, while assigning the buying-age issue to a commission to study.

A petition associated with Saturday’s march calls for banning sales of assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines, as well as tightening background checks.

The suspect in the Parkland shooting, 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz, used an AR-15 assault-style rifle, according to authorities. His lawyer has said he will plead guilty in return for a life prison sentence, rather than possibly facing the death penalty.

The Associated Press reported Sunday that documents show some officials recommended in September 2016 that Cruz be involuntarily committed for a mental evaluation, though the recommendation was never acted upon. Such a commitment would have made it more difficult, if not impossible, for Cruz to get a gun legally.

Beyond making a statement, Saturday’s marches aim to make political change by registering and mobilizing people to vote.

But the students insist their aim isn’t partisan: “We’re just trying to make sure that morally just people are running this country,” Stoneman Douglas senior Ryan Deitsch told the AP.

As soon-to-be voters, the students say they’re here to stay in the public debate.

“We are not just a presence on Twitter. We are not just some social media fad. We’re not like Tide Pods,” Deitsch said, referring to the laundry detergent packets that recently sparked a dangerous social-media-fueled trend of teenagers eating them.

“We’re trying to push this idea that we have a voice, that people can speak out, and that that voice should be heard,” Deitsch said.

(Image: ABC News/YouTube)

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

Deborah Edwards Barnhart is a 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center may teach visitors about space vehicles that defy gravity, but for its CEO and Executive Director Deborah Edwards Barnhart, the center itself has proved gravitational – pulling her into its orbit several times throughout her four-decade career.

Barnhart, who will this month be honored as a Yellowhammer Woman of Impact, began working in public affairs and marketing at the Space and Rocket Center in the early 1970s when she was in her final year at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, according to a 2012 U.S. army article detailing her background.


After some time away, she returned to manage publicity when the center added the space shuttle.

“That’s when I became interested in satellites,” Barnhart told Army.mil reporter Kari Hawkins. “At that time, the Navy was in charge of all satellite programs. My father had been a Navy Seabee in World War II and my brother attended the Naval Academy. So, at the age of 27, I joined the Navy to work on satellites.”

Barnhart would serve 26 years in the military — achieving the rank of Navy captain and becoming one of the first 10 women certified to serve aboard Navy ships — before returning to the Space and Rocket Center in 1986 to serve as the director of Space Camp and Space Academy.

She went on to hold leadership roles in three major aerospace and defense companies including Honeywell International, United Technologies Aerospace and McDonnell Douglas. She also raised two children and earned graduate degrees from the University of Maryland and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate in strategy and supervision from Vanderbilt University.

Barnhart had retired from Honeywell and moved to Florida, where she did consulting and owned and managed two thoroughbred training centers, when she was recruited to take her fourth role at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center – this time as its CEO.

Since taking the position in 2010, Barnhart is credited with restoring the center’s financial health after it struggled for years with a staggering amount of debt racked up in the late 1990s.

Last year, the center saw an 11 percent increase in revenue and an 18 percent increase in camp revenue, as well as all-time record attendance, helping it maintain its spot as Alabama’s top attraction, according to a 2017 annual report.

“The Center is financially sound, engaged with our community, and focused on our mission of lighting the fires of imagination,” Barnhart wrote in the report.

Nearly 16 million people have toured the center since it opened in 1970. It is the largest spaceflight museum in the world.

Barnhart received NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal, its highest non-government recognition, and last October she was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor, along with Gov. Kay Ivey and two other women (the first time a class of inductees has all been female).

Barnhart will again be honored with Gov. Ivey in an awards event March 29 in Birmingham. The Yellowhammer Women of Impact event will honor 20 women making an impact in Alabama and will benefit Big Oak Ranch. Details and registration may be found here.

Rachel Blackmon Bryars is managing editor of Yellowhammer News.

8 hours ago

Talladega Superspeedway lands sponsor for October’s main event

Talladega Superspeedway announced today that the company 1000Bulbs.com would sponsor its October NASCAR Monster Energy Cup, which is one of sanctioning body’s 10 “playoff” events that determine who is the champion of its premier series.

The event scheduled for October 14 will be known as the 1000Bulbs.com 500. In previous years, the event had gone with the “Alabama 500” moniker without a primary sponsor.

The sponsor, 1000Bulbs.com, in a Texas-based company that focuses on specialty lighting. According to a release from the track, the company started with two employees and had grown to more than 240 people and “has over 2500 orders daily from 30,000 new customers each month.”


“We can’t wait for the 1000Bulbs.com 500 to get here,” Talladega Superspeedway chairman Grant Lynch said in a statement. “What a company 1000Bulbs.com is to partner with, one that strives for excellence with cutting-edge technology and so many incredible lighting products to take care of their customers’ needs. Our fans know that when they come to Talladega, we will do everything in our power to make sure they have an incredible time. We are the most competitive track in all of NASCAR, and we welcome Kim and his staff to the Talladega Superspeedway family.”

Jeff Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and works as the editor of Breitbart TV. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_poor.

(Image: Talladega Superspeedway, View from O.V. Hill South Tower — Jeff Poor / Yellowhammer News)

8 hours ago

Hillary Clinton’s ‘clarification’ is actually a doubling-down on yet another foolish statement

During the election, Hillary Clinton whined about “deplorables”, blaming the hate-filled monsters who would never vote for a woman for her surprising loss. In her mind, and the minds of her supporters, the only person we can’t blame for her loss is Hillary Clinton. Her most recent silly gaffe was last week, where she spoke in front of an adoring crowd in India and called out white women, whose votes were effectively split, for being tools of their bosses, husbands and (somehow) their sons.

The media will tell you she has had a change of heart, some are even calling it an “apology“:

“As much as I hate the possibility, and hate saying it, it’s not that crazy when you think about our ongoing struggle to reach gender balance — even within the same household. I did not realize how hard it would hit many who heard it,” Clinton wrote in a lengthy Facebook post.


Why this matters: That’s not an apology or a clarification, she clearly thinks she is right. She cannot accept the fact that she was the worst presidential candidate of all time. Her real problem goes much deeper, she has been surrounded by a group of sycophants in her political orbit and in the media. We shouldn’t be angry at Hillary Clinton, we should pity her.  At this point, we might as well just start rattling off the people Clinton hasn’t blamed for her loss to Donald Trump, but that list would only have one entry: “Hillary Clinton”.

The details:

— As much as Clinton tried to imply white women voted as a homogeneous block, white women were far more split in their presidential choice than any other sub-group.

— 52 percent of white women voted for Trump and 43 percent voted for Clinton, this is hardly a monolith that you can group as all in for one candidate.

— Even after the election and eight months into Donald Trump’s term, Clinton was still wildly unpopular.

— In fact, Clinton was still more unpopular than Trump, only 30 percent of respondents viewed her favorably.

(Image: File)

Dale Jackson hosts a daily radio show from 7-11 a.m. on NewsTalk 770 AM/92.5 FM WVNN and a weekly television show, “Guerrilla Politics,” on WAAY-TV, both in North Alabama. Follow him @TheDaleJackson.

9 hours ago

‘Sex in the City’ star Cynthia Nixon running for governor

Former “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon said on Twitter Monday that she’ll challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in New York’s Democratic primary in September.

Her announcement sets up a race pitting an openly gay liberal activist against a two-term incumbent with a $30 million war chest and possible presidential ambitions.

“We want our government to work again. On health care, ending massive incarceration, fixing our broken subway,” Nixon said in a video announcing her candidacy . “We are sick of politicians who care more about headlines and power than they do about us.”


Nixon has her work cut out for her. A Siena College poll released Monday showed Cuomo leading her by 66 percent to 19 percent among registered Democrats, and by a similar margin among self-identified liberals. Nixon did a little better among younger and upstate Democrats, but didn’t have more than a quarter of either group.

The poll of 772 registered voters was conducted March 11-16. The margin of error is plus-minus 4.0 percentage points.

Nixon has in recent months given speeches and interviews calling on Democrats nationally to run “bluer” in 2018 and carve out a strong, progressive liberal identity rather than being merely “the anti-Trump party.”

It’s a left-flank strategy that has had success against Cuomo in the past — nearly unknown liberal activist and law professor Zephyr Teachout garnered a surprising 34 percent of the vote in the 2014 Democratic primary.

“It could be a fight for the soul of the Democratic Party in some sense,” said Baruch College political scientist Douglas Muzzio.

Nixon, a 51-year-old Manhattan mother of three, is a longtime advocate for fairness in public school funding and fervent supporter of Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has frequently clashed with Cuomo. Her video shows her walking her young daughter to school as she talks about being a proud public school parent.

Last month, at the annual New York gala of Human Rights Campaign, which has endorsed Cuomo on, she took a backhanded stab at the governor’s record: “For all the pride that we take here in being such a blue state, New York has the single worst income inequality of any state in the country.”

More recently, she has been delving into issues of keen interest to New York City, the main blue stronghold in a state where suburban and rural towns upstate tend to run red.

One of those issues is transportation policy, which contributed to a plunge in Cuomo’s popularity last July amid his “summer of hell” forecast for New York City commuters facing ongoing transit breakdowns and delays.

The 60-year-old Cuomo had no immediate comment on Nixon’s candidacy. But recently, he mocked the celebrity status the Grammy, Emmy and Tony winner could bring to the race.

“Normally name recognition is relevant when it has some connection to the endeavor,” Cuomo told reporters earlier this month. “If it was just about name recognition, then I’m hoping that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Billy Joel don’t get into the race.”

While Nixon has strong political connections and name recognition in the city that was the backdrop for her Emmy Award-winning role as lawyer Miranda Hobbes in the HBO comedy “Sex and the City,” her star power among upstate voters is less certain.

Jefrey Pollock, pollster and political adviser to Cuomo and other prominent Democrats, said that celebrity isn’t likely to trump governing experience in the voting booth.

“Over and over in our research, Democratic primary voters say they’re not looking for an outsider because they look to Washington, D.C., and see what the outsider has meant to this country,” Pollock said.

Nixon won’t be the only celebrity candidate on the New York ballot. Former “Law and Order: SVU” actress Diane Neal is running for Congress as an independent in a Hudson Valley district.

The first task for Nixon, Muzzio said, is to launch a listening and talking tour.

“She can’t be the celebrity glamour girl,” he said. “She’s got to get out there and get exposure upstate.”

(Image: Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York/Flickr)

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)